icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

~Shutterfly Review~

It's time to get those Holiday Cards out!!  How did December get here so quickly?!  Shutterfly is the place to go for all your photo cards and gifts.  They have a HUGE assortment of styles and colors-they even have cards for you to showcase your fur babies on!!  Their prices are great too, and it is so easy to order!  No going to the store to order or pick up. 

I'm planning on ordering some photo cards with pics of the family, and ordering some special prints of daughter Alyssa's senior pictures for us and the grandparents.  The hard part isn't ordering, its choosing the photos!!

Be sure to check out Shutterfly's special offers at http://www.shutterfly.com/special-offers, as well as all of the Shutterfly Social Channels below. 

• Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shutterfly
• Twitter: http://twitter.com/Shutterfly
• Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/shutterfly/
• Google +: https://plus.google.com/+shutterfly
• Blog: http://blog.shutterfly.com/

I'm sure December will fly by, so hurry to Shutterfly to get those cards and gifts ordered!!

*This post is sponsored by Shutterfly

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

~Tulip's Wordless Wednesday~

Book Review~A Wild Goose Chase Christmas

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Wild Goose Chase Christmas
Abingdon Press (November 2012)
Jennifer AlLee


A Word from Jennifer:

As I look back on my life, it's interesting to see where God's taken me, and where I took myself that God pulled me out of. I finally got back to writing, the dream of my heart. Since 1996, I've published numerous short stories, devotions and plays. I've also been active in church drama ministries, another passion of mine. My first novel, The Love of His Brother (November 2007, Five Star Publishers), was followed by The Pastor's Wife (February 2010, Abingdon Press) and The Mother Road (April 2012). A Wild Goose Chase Christmas is book two in the new Quilts of Love series.

Besides being a writer, I am a wife and mom. Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, my family has learned how to enjoy the fabulous buffets here without severely impacting our waistlines. God is good!


Upon her grandmother's death, Izzy Fontaine finds herself in possession of a Wild Goose Chase pattern quilt that supposedly leads to a great treasure.

Of course, once the rest of the family finds out about the "treasure map," they're determined to have a go at the treasure themselves. And, if that weren't enough, Max Logan, a local museum curator, contacts Izzy and says that Grandma Isabella promised him the quilt.

What is it about this quilt that makes everyone want it? Is Izzy on a wild goose chase of her own, or a journey that will lead her to the treasure her grandmother intended?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Wild Goose Chase Christmas, go HERE.

What I thought: This was a fun, quick read.  I've always loved quilts and have wanted to learn to quilt.  There was just the right amount of mystery and romance in A Wild Goose Chase Christmas.  I think I will be reading more in the Quilts of Love series!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review~Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall

Christmas in Apple Ridge is a collection of three novels by author Cindy Woodsmall.  Two of them have been published previously-The Sound of Sleigh Bells and The Christmas Singing, and The Dawn of Christmas is brand new!  Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite Amish authors-I even had the pleasure of meeting her!
The Sound of Sleigh Bells is the story of a second chance at love.  Beth Hertzler is afraid to love again after a tragedy.  Will artist Jonah, who created a beautiful carving that she admires, warm his way into her heart?  The Christmas Singing is another story of second chances-cake decorator Mattie returns home after three years away, to face her childhood sweetheart Gideon, who had broken off their engagement three years earlier.  Will she trust Gideon again, once she finds out the true reason behind their breakup?  The Dawn of Christmas tells the story of Sadie and Levi.  Sadie had her heart broken years earlier, and now devotes her time to missions trips to Peru, much to her parents disappointment.  She becomes friends with Levi, who after watching his older brother be abandoned by his wife, is not open to giving his heart to anyone. Can they both get past their fears and find love together?
All three of the novels in Christmas in Apple Ridge were wonderful, and what I really enjoyed is that they were all intertwined.  The same characters and locations were in all three novels, which was like reading a series!
Cindy Woodsmall  is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author of ten works of fiction and one work of nonfiction, whose connection with the Amish community has been featured widely in national media and throughout Christian news outlets. She lives outside Atlanta with her family.  Her website is full of information about her books, recipes, and Amish life.  Click here to purchase Christmas in Apple Ridge.  Check it out for yourself by reading the first chapter.
*Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.

Book Review~A Marriage of the Heart by Kelly Long

A Marriage of the Heart is a collection of three previously released novellas by author Kelly Long.  I enjoy reading novellas-they are long enough to get deep enough into a story, but not as long as a regular novel-perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon!  I have enjoyed books written by Kelly Long in the past, and A Marriage of the Heart was another enjoyable read. 

The first novella in the book, A Perfect Secret, is about Rose Bender and Luke Lantz.  They have been lifelong friends, so it seemed only natural that they would marry, and plan to do so.  Suddenly Rose discovers a secret about Luke that makes her think she never really knew him.  Should she marry him?  The second novella is titled Christmas Cradles, and is the story of Anna Stolis and Asa Lapp.  As Asa assists Anna with multiple births on Christmas night, the two learn to trust in God's plan for their futures.  The final novella is A Marriage of the Heart, which follows the sudden marriage of Abigail Kauffman and Joseph Lambert.  They didn't marry for love, and wonder if they will ever have feelings for each other.

Along with the three novellas, A Marriage of the Heart includes reading group guides and some yummy recipes!

*Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review~Everyday Matters Bible for Women

Isn't this a beautiful cover for a Bible?  With the busy lives we women have today, it can be difficult to find time to read God's word daily.  Hendrickson Publishers has helped make this a bit easier for us with the Everyday Matters Bible for Women. I enjoy browsing the different Bibles out there, and this one is so pretty it just calls out for me to pick it up!  This is the New Living Translation, which I was not familiar with but enjoyed reading.  It is written in modern language. 

In my opinion, the best feature of this Bible is the 24 spiritual practices highlighted throughout with colorful icons.  Each spiritual practice is explored in four different types of articles:
*Everyday Matters
*Everyday Profiles
*Everyday Reflections
*Everyday Q&As
There are more than 300 articles and features focusing on these spiritual disciplines, contributed by many well-known Christian leaders and writers. Other special features include full-color printing throughout, book introductions, instructions on how to use this Bible in a Small Group study, index of spiritual practices, and resources for further reading. The Everyday Matters Bible for Women would be a wonderful way to spend time with the Lord daily, and would make a beautiful gift for women in your life. 

Purchase this Bible online at retailers such as Amazon and Christianbook.com.
To learn more, click on the following resources:
Everyday Matters on Publisher’s website: http://www.hendrickson.com
Everyday Matters on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EverydayMattersBible
Everyday Matters on TWITTER: https://twitter.com/bibleforwomen

*Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Book Review~Bible Detective by Peter Martin

The Bible Detective is a new puzzle search book by Peter Martin, illustrated by Peter Kent.  It is published by Lion Hudson, and I received a copy to review from Kregel Publications.  It is a hard cover book with beautiful colors throughout.  There are 17 two-page search and find puzzles, along with detailed solutions at the back of the book.  Some examples of the puzzle topics are:
*Noah, the good herdsman (Genesis 6-9)
*A Schoolboy in Nazareth (Luke 2)
*Peter preaches about Jesus (Acts 1-5, 10-11)

The pictures in the puzzles are cute cartoonish drawings, and each puzzle has a detailed description  and facts about that particular bible story.  The puzzles are not too difficult, but just hard enough to be a challenge.  My 10-year-old had so much fun going through each puzzle, and has gone back through the book several times.  I enjoyed going through it as well!  The Bible Detective would make a great children's gift, and is a fun way to learn about and reinforce several main stories of the bible.

*Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Bible Detective in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Winners!!! Purex plus Oxi!!

The three winners of a coupon for a free bottle of Purex plus Oxi are:

#133 Shelley
#313 Candace
#178 Annie

The winners have been emailed.
Congratulations and thanks for entering!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review~Courting Cate by Leslie Gould

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Courting Cate
Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
Leslie Gould


Even though I knew I wanted to write fiction by the time I was in the sixth grade, as I grew older I pursued other things instead, such as majoring in history and communications, and then working as a museum curator, then a public relations specialist, and finally as a magazine editor. Once I finally started writing fiction, it was another ten years until I sold my first novel. By that time I’d been married for nearly 20 years and had four children of my own to read to.

In the decade since my first contract I’ve written fifteen books, from Beyond the Blue, a story about international adoption set in Vietnam, to Courting Cate, a retelling of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. No matter what I write, I aim to reveal truths about God’s love, beauty, and redemptive work in our lives. My goal is to connect more deeply to God, family, and friends through my writing. My hope is that my stories encourage readers to deepen their own connections too.


When Amish farmer Pete Treger moves to Paradise Township, Pennsylvania, seeking a better life, he meets sisters Cate and Betsy Miller. Both are beautiful, but older sister Cate is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Betsy, on the other hand, is sweet and flirty--and seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!

However, the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard and fast rule: elder sister must marry first, before the younger can even start courting. Unfortunately for poor Betsy, and for the men who want to court her, her older sister, Cate, doesn't have any suitors--until Pete comes to town, that is.

Though he finds both sisters attractive, something about Cate's feisty demeanor appeals to him. Soon the other bachelors in the district convince Pete to court Cate. She hardly seems receptive to his overtures, though. Instead, she's immediately suspicious of his interest.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Courting Cate, go HERE.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Review~Guardians of Purity by Julie Hiramine

Guardians of Purity: A Parent's Guide to Winning the War Against media, Peer Pressure, and Eroding Sexual Values is written by Julie Hiramine, founder of Generations of Virtue.  I have read a few books of hers in the past, and was very impressed by her wealth of knowledge and advice.  As the mother of a 10-year-old boy, I am smack-dab in the middle of a very impressionable time in my son's life.

The world today and what our children are being exposed to on a daily basis is downright  scary.  As much as I'd like to, I cant keep my child in a bubble at home-he will be exposed to things that I find inappropriate, no matter how diligent and careful I am. Guardians of Purity is full of helpful advice and biblical wisdom, including:
*Becoming an effective gatekeeper of your home
*Have age-appropriate conversations about sex
*Help teens walk out a lifestyle of purity and integrity
I was blown away by many of the statistics Julie Hiramine quotes, such as: "The average teen spends one hour 40 minutes per week browsing for pornography".  This is just one of many shocking statistics. Guardians of Purity is a must-read for parents!
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Charisma House in exchange for my honest review.

Wordless Wednesday~Yoda!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Book Review~The Breath of Dawn

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Breath of Dawn
Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
Kristen Heitzmann


From the time my dad taught me to read at sit-on-the-floor school when I was four—launching me past kindergarten into 1st grade—I have loved learning and expressing what I know through art, music, and especially writing. Education came easily, and I grew accustomed to having my work read and displayed. But breaking out of the family mold, I left college to marry my husband Jim (celebrating our 29th this year.) Since then, life and all kinds of research have provided the grist for my stories. We have three awesome adult kids, and one incredible teenager. (You might think I’m biased, but ask anyone who knows them.)

While home schooling my four kids, I wrote my first novel. I pitched it for publication, and it became the first of a five book historical series. Since then, I have written three more historical novels and nine contemporaries. The Still of Night was nominated for the Colorado Book Award. The Tender Vine was a Christy Award finalist and Secrets won a Christy in 2005.

People often ask why I started writing, and I say to get the stories out of my head. Some say they’d like to write a book, but I say if you’re not wracked with labor pains, there are easier ways to express yourself. Being a writer is a solitary, eccentric, and often compulsive path. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


Kristen Heitzmann Delivers Powerful New Romantic Suspense

Morgan Spencer has had just about all he can take of life. Following the tragic death of his wife, Jill, he retreats to his brother's Rocky Mountain ranch to heal and focus on the care of his infant daughter, Olivia. Two years later, Morgan begins to make plans to return to his home in Santa Barbara to pick up the pieces of his life and career.

Quinn Riley has been avoiding her past for four years. Standing up for the truth has forced her into a life of fear and isolation. After a "chance" first meeting and a Thanksgiving snowstorm, Quinn is drawn into the Spencer family's warm and loving world, and she begins to believe she might find freedom in their friendship.

The man Quinn helped put behind bars has recently been released, however, and she fears her past will endanger the entire Spencer family. As the danger heightens, she determines to leave town for the sake of the people who have come to mean so much to her.

Fixing problems is what Morgan Spencer does best, and he is not willing to let Quinn run away, possibly into the clutches of a man bent on revenge. But Morgan's solution sends him and Quinn on an unexpected path, with repercussions neither could have anticipated.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Breath of Dawn, go HERE.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Current Purex Sweepstakes!!

Wouldn't it be great to win some extra cash and/or prizes for the holidays?  Well, here's your chance! 

The Purex plus Oxi Sweepstakes is running through November 30th, with up to $6000 in prizes!  Click here to enter.

The Scare Away Stains with Purex plus Oxi Sweepstakes runs through November 16th. There will be only one winner. The Prize winner will receive $1,000 in the form of a check or gift card and a (1) year supply of Purex plus Oxi detergent in the form of 10 “Free Coupons” valued at up to $6.00 per coupon.
Sweepstakes Link: http://www.purex.com/scare-away-stains-sweepstakes

The Whirlpool Save Big on Appliances  Sweepstakes runs through November 9th.  There will be one (1) Prize. The Prize winner will receive a 4.3 cu. ft. Whirlpool Duet® Steam Front Load Washer with Precision Dispense Ultra, a 7.4 cu. ft. Whirlpool Duet® Steam Electric Dryer with Advanced Moisture Sensing and pedestals. Prize includes delivery and set in place only. Installation and removal of old appliances are not included.
The sweepstakes is on Facebook.  You will have to "Like" Purex before you can enter.
Sweepstakes Link: https://www.facebook.com/purex/app_452142488162998
Enter away, and good luck!  Come back and let me know if  you win anything!!

Review and Giveaway~Purex plus Oxi

Purex has come out with a great new laundry detergent!  Purex plus Oxi is the most powerful Purex detergent yet, with three stain-fighting enzymes that fight over 101 different stains!  This is a great pretreater too.

For me, Purex is my favorite detergent because it does a great job, my clothes are clean and fresh, and its affordable.  I received a bottle of Purex plus Oxi, and put it right to work. It has the great fresh smell I love, and my clothes were clean.  I tried it as a pretreater on one of my son's uniform khaki pants that had a small grass stain in the knee. The stain was gone!
To celebrate new Purex plus Oxi, Purex is having a sweepstakes through November 30th.  They are giving away up to $6,000 in prizes!!  Click here to enter. 

The Giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided with a free sample from Purex in exchange for my honest review.

Review and Author Giveaway~The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer

About the Book: The Memory Jar by Tricia Goyer is Book One in the Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series.

Every year, 30-40 young Amish men descend on the cozy little town of West Kootenai, Montana, arriving in the spring to live there for six months and receive 'resident' status for the hunting season in the fall. They arrive as bachelors, but go home with brides! Sarah Shelter has lived in West Kootenai for the last ten years and wonders if she will ever fall in love.andnbsp;Since the tragic death of her best friend, she carries her memories in a jar along with the small items connected to them. For just as long, she's also been carrying around her emotions instead of allowing them to penetrate deep into her heart. Now she's met a kind and gentle man who may be able to break down the wall. But can Sarah risk her heart to finally achieve her dreams?

My Thoughts: I loved reading Tricia Goyer's Big Sky series last year, so I was excited to find out she wrote another book in the same setting. The West Kootenai, Montana Old Order Amish setting is fascinating, and I think the change from the typical Eastern rolling farmlands to the mountains and forest makes the story even more interesting.  The characters of Sarah Shelter and Jathan Schrock were both very deep and realistic, and I was immediately drawn into their lives.  The theme of moving on with your life after tragedy, and trusting God to direct you toward your future was well done.  I believe Tricia Goyer is a very talented writer, and  The Memory Jar is a wonderful addition to her collection.

Click here to purchase your own copy of The Memory Jar. Interested in reading more reviews first?  Go to the Litfuse website for more reviews and information.

Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of over thirty books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife. Find out more about Tricia at http://triciagoyer.com.

Celebrate with Tricia by entering her Amish Kindle Gift Pack Giveaway and RSVPing to her Facebook party on November 7th. (And be sure to catch the fun video trailer or try your hand at one of the simple, keepsake crafts Tricia has put together on her website.)

One fortunate winners will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Custom-made Memory Jar Kindle Cover
  • Amish-made decorative items {Wall hanging, horse/buggy and Amish houses}
  • The Memory Jar {Be swept away by this captivating series.}
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 6th. Winner will be announced at the "Memory Jar Author Chat Party on 11/7. Connect with Tricia for an evening of book chat, Amish trivia, and a live video chat! There will also be a chance to win gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of The Memory Jar and join Tricia on the evening of the November 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 7th!

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.